Now And Then Series Finale – Upper Body Combo

a wompus angle, but you get the idea

Well, kind readers, tomorrow is Friday and the week has gone by fast. We are finally melting out of the crazy snowstorm and life is getting back to normal. Well, my family’s version of normal.

Speaking of life, today was a classic example where it got in the way of my Leg Workout #2 and I had to just deal.  Not only did I lose track of time, the water was shut off to the house (basement finish-out) and I was unaware.  After a trip to the neighbor’s potty and a recombobulation of the needing- to-be-rinsed dishes, I got to the gym late.  Once I was there I had a few really pleasant, but untimely interruptions.  First was a lady in the locker room who was inquiring about my program.  I have a great time speaking with people in my little community because it’s just one more way I can pay forward all the information and support I’ve received on my journey.  Unfortunately I had to cut short this promising conversation because if I didn’t get started, then I’d be late for my physical therapy appointment later.

basement bathAs I was scurrying around the lockers I bumped into my really good friend and neighbor, who I’ve recently helped with training.  No, 24 Hour Fitness, I did not say I WAS training her…no clipboarding here, people!  I got in trouble for that once, so I have to keep any assistance, no matter how minute, on the down low.  Anyway.  She was there and I was there, and oh yeah, the Lobster was out on the gym floor waiting for me.  So we all decided to workout together.  I know a threesome sounds daunting.  I mean we’ve all seen the surly workout gangs who literally hijack a piece of equipment for an hour or more, but we three have actually managed a quick and considerate pace when we’ve worked together in the past.  Today was no different, but it was busy.

We got through most everything with no problems until we got to the butt blaster on the leg extension machine.  It was in constant rotation so we decided to improvise by using the Gravitron machine instead.  I’m not sure if the move was as glute-focused, but I hadn’t done it in a long time, and the other two were anxious to try something new.  I attempted some research but could find no information or images for what we did.  You basically stand on the platform like you would for an assisted pull-up or dip.  Then you place one foot on the pad where you’d normally have your knees.  With the heel acting as the main contact point, you push the pad down, like a single-leg press.  Using your heel instead of the ball of your foot puts the focus on your hams and glutes.  Try it sometime and let me know what you think.

Overall we finished well, but really no PRs for me because #1 I was in a group, and it was hard to focus #2 We were a little rushed based on my pending appointment and #3 I tweaked something in my lower back and was having some pain with most of my moves.  I’m not too upset about it though, because this will be the first week in probably two months that I will make it to the gym for all 5 days.  Given the week we’ve had, I will feel fortunate to have worked all body parts twice.

As you may recall, I only like to gym it 5 days per week.  As the mom of a small person, wife, part-time employee and general cruise director I need my weekends.  This week will be no exception, and to do that I like to combine all my upper body for the last day.  I usually focus on back and chest because they comprise the largest muscle groups.  As mentioned earlier in this series, however, I’ll be sticking to back, arms and rear delts.  No chest or traditional shoulder moves.  Normally I’d throw in 4 sets of push-ups and 4 sets of flyes and 4 sets of military presses.  I don’t anticipate any personal records because my physical therapist has suggested I back off too much heavy lifting for a little while.  It’s looking like I’ll be altering my program to once per week for each upper body part.  So that’s it.

4 sets of 8 for all sets

UNASSISTED PULL-UPS  (neutral grip)  #reps with bodyweight   8, 6, 6, 4, 3 (extra set to progress toward a full 4 sets of 8)

May 2011 – 3 sets of 12 – (Gravitron/assisted pull-up machine) 110lb, 125lb, 125lb

T-BAR ROW  105lb, 95lb, 95lb, 95lb

May 2011 – 3 sets of 12 – 2 ARM ROW (with barbell)  20lb, 20lb, 20lb

REAR DELT CABLE ROW (cable station) this is a new one and I LOVE it!  75lb, 77.5lb, 80lb, 80lb *PR will be the last 2 sets of 80lb

May 2011 – Bent Over Lateral Raise with 2 dumbbells – 12lb each, 10lb ea, 10lb ea

TRICEPS MACHINE   This is a new one that I really like.  My gym’s looks a little different than the machine here.  I’ve used it in place of unassisted dips for the time being due to the shoulder deal.   60lb, 60lb, 60lb, 60lb

May 2011 – 3 sets of 12 – assisted dips on the GRAVITRON  125lb, 110lb, 95lb

REVERSE BARBELL CURL  30lb, 30lb, 30lb, 30lb

May 2011 – 3 sets of 12 – 20lb, 20lb, 20lb

HANGING OBLIQUES (captain’s chair instead of hanging due to shoulder)  Bodyweight for all 4 sets

CONDITIONING  Stationary bike 1-minute intervals for 20 minutes – levels 5:8

the endAt last, finito.  Done.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and have found some new moves or rediscovered some old moves to build into your lifting repertoire.  I’ve enjoyed reporting these plans to you and look forward, as always, to hearing about your progress!  Thanks for letting me ride shotgun on your journey!